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July 19, 2013

MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGNS FOR THE PREVENTION OF ILLICIT DRUG USE IN YOUNG PEOPLE

The Cochrane Library has recently published a review of the evidence for effectiveness of mass media campaigns to prevent illicit drug use in young people. The review considered papers that looked at national campaigns, public service advertisements, television messages and internet-based campaigns. The authors conclude that there was mixed evidence of effectiveness for mass media campaigns to prevent illicit drug use, and there was some evidence of increased drug use following exposure to the campaigns.

Go to "Media campaigns for the prevention of illicit drug use in young people" (1.2MB PDF)

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March 16, 2012

GENDER RESPONSIVE PREVENTION

The World Health Organization (WHO) have published a report which looks at the evidence base for effective prevention of injuries and substance use, and how this can be applied with consideration of the impacts of gender norms and values.   The report is divided in two, with the first half focused on the evidence for effective prevention programs, whilst the second part of the report considers gender as a determinant of adolescent health.

Evidence for gender responsive actions to prevent and manage injuries and substance abuse:  Young people's health as a whole-of-society response (WARNING: Large file download 7.8MB PDF)

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March 16, 2012

BEST PRACTICE IN IMPROVING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S WELLBEING

The Western Australia Commissioner for Children and Young People contracted the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to research best practice programs that improve the wellbeing of children and young people.  Included is a selection of programs from across Australia, including programs addressing health and safety, education, material wellbeing, family and peer relationships, participation, subjective wellbeing, behaviours and risks (including alcohol and other drug prevention).

Building Blocks: Best practice programs that improve the wellbeing of children and young people (970KB PDF)

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September 16, 2011

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL DRUG EDUCATION RESOURCES

The Western Australian Department of Education and Training developed a fantastic range of alcohol and other drug curriculum materials for schools, titled "Choices".   The materials were specifically designed for the Western Australian Health Studies course, however many of the activities and resources could be easily adapted for the Queensland context.   Included are a range of excellent classroom activities and suggestions for interactive sessions with young people.

Choices: Alcohol and Other Drugs

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September 9, 2011

PREVENTION SCIENCE NETWORK FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) have announced the formation of a new network for workers interested in advancing evidence based prevention programs.   The network aims to build capacity around prevention research, policy and practice by allowing interested professionals to share experiences, and work on collaborative projects.   The network is being co-convened by Dr Sophie Havighurst from the University of Melbourne, and Professor John Toumbourou from Deakin University.

Prevention Science Network website.

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September 2, 2011

MAKING PREVENTION WORK

A recent article in the Australian Review of Public Affairs titled "Making Prevention Work in Human Services fro Children and Youth" asks some critical questions about prevention programs, like is prevention just coercive or is it empowering?  Prevention programs often have strong political and moral dimensions, which are usually unquestioned.  The authors of this article call for a rethink of prevention, and argue the need to a more consultative bottom-up approach.  The article includes a number of examples from the Australian context.

"Making Prevention Work in Human Services for Children and Youth" (Abstract)

"Making Prevention Work in Human Services for Children and Youth" (126KB PDF)

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July 15, 2011

SOFTEN THE FCK UP: MENS HEALTH CAMPAIGN

"Soften the Fck Up" is a new men's health campaign, designed to challenge notions of "the real man."  The campaign has been created by ad agency Spur, and it's sure to get lots of attention in coming weeks.   There's been a constant stream of research highlighting issues in men's health:  depression and suicide in younger men, right through to chronic disease in older men.  One of the common themes is a perception that "real men" don't ask for help.  This new campaign seeks to address this through it's catchy slogan and website.

Go to "Soften the fck up" website


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June 16, 2011

ARE MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGNS AGAINST DRUG USE EFFECTIVE?

A recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found the answer was fairly clear: no they don't and in some cases they actually increased people's intentions to use.   This study looked all the published research on this issue and narrowed down the field to 11 studies, 7 using randomised control trials (RCT) and 4 observational studies which met the inclusion criteria.  One of the RCT studies found positive benefits on the mass media campaigns in reducing intentions to use illicit drugs, while two of the RCTs found the opposite:  increased intentions to use illicit drugs by those who viewed the campaigns.  The observational studies yielded mixed results.   The authors conclude that mass media campaigns are unlikely to be effective at reducing illicit drug use.

Click here to read the whole article.


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